Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mt 20:17-28 Giving God Some Credit

Mt 20:17-28 Giving God Some Credit

(Click here for readings)

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her two sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “You do not know what you are asking….You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you.”

You don’t know what you have till it’s gone. How true. Some of the greatest lessons are learned the hard way. Yes, very true and very unfortunate. Some things you can never take back. Yep! I agree with that. First be kind to someone before asking for something. How convenient.

Prior to asking Jesus for a favor, the mother of James and John did him homage. How convenient. But if she only knew what she was asking for, she may never have asked for it.

Not too long ago, while I was unvesting after Mass, a woman in her late fifties asked me if she could speak to me. Although I could smell alcohol on her breath, I was more than delighted to do so. At first she was very kind to me, telling me wonderful things. And then she told me her sad story and how she had gradually lost everything. You see, she was a very popular girl in high school; the girl that all the boys went after (and got). She was fun to be with and was always invited to the parties. But gradually, she began to drink at the parties and eventually began to take drugs at the parties. She lost her low-income job. She lost all her boyfriends and now she had nowhere and no one to turn to. She asked me if I could help her. I asked her, “What do you need?” She said, “Four hundred dollars.” I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t a bit shocked at the request. “I can’t help you with four hundred dollars.” I replied. “Can you help me with one hundred?” I took out my wallet and showed her ten dollars. “This is all I have.” She looked at my ten dollar bill and was totally disgusted with me. “Phew! That’s all you have? Can you give me one hundred dollars?” At that, I came very close to her face and said, “I told you, I don’t have one hundred dollars to give to you.” She left and while she was leaving, I said to myself, “There goes the popular girl in high school.”

Whoever exalts themselves will be humbled; but whoever humbles themselves will be exalted (Mt 23:12). How true! How very true! The last shall be first and the first shall be last (Mt 20:16). Surprise! And how about this one, “If you wish to find yourself you must lose yourself first (cf. Mt 10:39). This one really drives logical people insane! I have said this before and I will say it again. I think logical people are very boring. Why? Because if they give someone a hug, it’s for a reason! If they give you a gift, then it must be your birthday or Christmas. Where is the surprise in that??? Christians do not give hugs for a reason; they give hugs for no reason! And maybe that’s the reason why the Lord could care less about people doing him homage and instead preferred authentic humility, fidelity and love.

Good boys and girls always seem to suffer a bit in high school. They are the last to be invited to parties. They may even be the last invited to the Prom. In fact, they may never even be asked on a date while in high school! But in reality, they couldn’t have it better. If they keep their head on straight and protect their heart for the best of the best, they will grow, blossom and bloom, while the quick bloomers fade and wither away.

Jeremiah suffered tremendously for being faithful to God. In today’s first reading, you can feel Jeremiah’s pain and see how he has been emotionally and physically drained by the people he serves. They are plotting against me, and it will mean absolutely nothing to them. They seek to destroy me and carefully note every single word I say or write!

Jeremiah begs the Lord to listen to what his opponents are saying. He cries out to the Lord, “Must good be repaid with evil?” The answer for now will be, “Yes.” Here’s another one of those sayings that are so true: Good is often repaid with evil.

But that will not be the end of Jeremiah’s story. The Lord will make sure of it. Although his life may be brief, his words will be recorded forever in Scripture. His words will never die; and neither will he.


  1. I laughed when I saw the picture of Miley Cyrus on today's blog post. I was just commenting to my mother last night how you called her "Miley Citrus" at the St. Paul the Apostle Lenten Mission. Too funny LOL....;)

    I find it sad people who have chosen wrong paths and vices in their lives - drugs, alcohol, prostitution, etc. - and then seek out handouts from others. They seem to be in complete denial that they have a problem. I remember as a teen one of the orchestra moms was a terrible alcoholic. She gravitated to me all the time during rehearsals. She'd reek of liquor, hanging around watching me play and showering me with compliments. She didn't seem to give a hill of beans for her daughter who also played violin! I felt sorry for the mom. However, in my mind, all I wanted her to do was "Go away and leave me alone! Sober up and pay attention to your daughter more!" I had nothing to give her, not even $10 in my pocket or any kind words to say. I thought she was a "loser" and totally creepy. Now that I'm older I wonder if that poor woman drank herself to death and if her daughter made something of herself. Oh how I wish I had been kinder and more understanding. I wish I could've helped that poor woman in some way. I truly believe she had a good heart and meant well, but the disease of alcoholism took over her life.

    Jeremiah is one of my favorite prophets in the Old Testament. He wrote with such compassion. I can see so many priests feeling the same way as Jeremiah. People are constantly seeking their help and guidance in ways that are using, deceitful, and immoral. These people are so unhappy within themselves, so unfaithful to Our Lord, that they do whatever it takes to "plot against" our clergy.



  2. Father Alfonse, Hope you having a good day!

    I'm going to be one of those 'logical people' who just has to ask for 'clarification' on what you are saying ;).

    It seems that over the last week you have been trying make the argument that logic can actually hinder us a great deal in our path to God and holiness.

    Yet, one can say that rationality – logical thinking – can be an excellent means for some people to arrive to a more full understanding of God, and his will. Doesn't the Gospel of John refer to Christ as "the Word" (cf. Jn 1:1-2) which in Greek is "logos" from which our English word 'logic' is derived.
    It seems that as God set man apart as a rational creature, capable of freely choosing to love Him, the proper use of our reason, and thereby logic is actually a way of honoring God. In seeking Him, and His will, with our whole being (mind, body, and soul) we make use of the gifts He has given us. We just have to remember that our Catholic Faith (and personal faith) must supersede any, seemingly, logical conclusions we may arrive to which contradict the known will of God. I actually wonder if it is all possible to have true logical conclusion which are in contradiction with the will of God; for isn't God the source of truth?

    Anyways, I'm sure I'm reading far more into your comments than you would like. :) I probably am a little over defensive when it comes to balancing faith and reason because it is one of my greatest struggles.

    Thanks for your insights! God Bless!

    - Jessica

  3. Of course you are right. And of course there is nothing wrong with being logical as long as it does not limit you in your love. But the fact remains that human logic is very limited. It could never get to God being Father or Trinity or Love. And that is where I begin to appreciate more and more the realty of "surprise" and "love" that go beyond logic and enter the realm of the divine.

  4. Way to go Jessica. Great questions yield great answers.


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